The year was 2002, and Missy Elliot was almost a decade into her career and had already created classic songs. That summer, “Work It,” the lead single from her fourth album, Under Construction which was a homage to old school, quickly became Missy’s most successful single, charting at number two on the Billboard Hot 100.
As she had with her previous albums, Missy Included a couple of slow jams on the album, one of which is this week’s pick for Slow Jam Saturday. Of the two slow jams, I didn’t feel that it was appropriate to try and write about “Pussycat” as a male. I decided to go with the Beyonce-assisted “Nothing Out There.” Queen Bey and Mismendaor had previously collaborated on “Confessions,” “Crazy Feelings,” “Get on the Bus,” and the remix to “Bootylicious,” so naturally, the chemistry was there.
At this point in her career, Beyonce wasn’t the global icon she is now, but her momentum increased following her role in Austin Powers In Goldmemeber and her debut solo single “Work It Out.” The song begins with Missy calling Bey for a girl’s night. Missy offers some humorous roast about her friend’s man before Bey lets her know she is just going to stay in for the night with her man.
What I enjoy about this particular song is Missy gives off the vibe of a big sister to Bey. Highly underrated vocalist Tweet provides background vocals, so Bey brings her A-game on the vocals. Missy and Bey’s chemistry is as strong here as on previous songs, and I always wondered how a joint EP would have sounded between the two.
The duo’s latest collabo is about someone choosing to stay in a committed relationship despite their outside temptations. The lyrics depict a woman’s friends trying to convince her to go partying, but her boyfriend isn’t keen on the idea. The man feels insecure and thinks others influence her, but she stays in her relationship because she loves her partner and is sure that nothing out there can compare to them. She emphasizes that her commitment to her partner is strong enough to make it through these outside temptations.
The chorus emphasizes that she’d rather stay with her man than go out partying because her man is “the only one that I’m thinking’ about.” Through this song, Missy Elliott and Beyoncé portray the importance of staying in a relationship despite temptations and that staying in a committed relationship is more fulfilling than any other option.
Missy recently mentioned one of her biggest regrets was not releasing this song as a single and shooting a video. Given Missy’s visual eye, I can only imagine how cinematic the song’s visual would have been.
Final Grade: B+
“Nothing out There For Me” from Under Construction is available on all streaming platforms
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